From Aloha to Alloa World’s Youth Comes to Scotland

- May 2007 Alex Salmond was elected as First Minister

The linking theme between each has been peace building and the search for sustainable life styles which will allow the world's youth to look forward with optimism. Some of the world's most dynamic, environmentally and socially aware young people will represent their country at the world's biggest youth event of 2005 on sustainability, to be based in Stirling, Scotland.

The Hawaii congress in 1999 kicked off the now biennial event with the Millennium Young People's Congress which sought to establish young people's priorities going into the 21st century. The top priority turned out to be education for all, a privilege which Scots have enjoyed for many years, but which is still one not shared by many people around the world.

In Morocco two years ago, delegates produced the Casablanca Declaration, appealing for greater government support to enable young people to help efforts to achieve the .

The Programme for the 3rd World Youth Congress will not follow the pattern of other events. It will be more dynamic and will be run by the young people themselves. One of the outcomes of the Morocco congress was that delegates wanted to be more involved. Young people have been actively involved in the planning and implementation of the programme and agenda for the event which will include three days working on Action Projects across Scotland. These will include inner city community schemes, rural and environmental projects thus leaving a lasting 'footprint' on the host nation. Other areas might include, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, architecture, water and sewerage, and community (inner city and countryside) issues.

Around 600 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 from over 120 countries are currently being selected to participate in the Scottish Congress which aims to promote the leadership role that young people can play in the field of poverty eradication, peace, equality and environmental issues. The main goals of the Congress are to promote volunteering, global citizenship and sustainable lifestyles. The World Youth Congress is a major opportunity for young people to make their voices heard on an international stage.

Scotland 2005 is being organised and funded by the Scottish Executive with the support of partner groups including (PCI) and the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) as well as other youth organisations. Selected for its outward-looking attitude, its commitment to youth and for improving communities without compromising the environment, Scotland offers an ideal setting for the Youth Congress.

Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell, has welcomed the news that the Congress is coming to Scotland.

"I am delighted to be welcoming so many dynamic young people to Scotland to experience at first-hand our country's renowned hospitality and forward-looking approach to development issues. I believe that the World Youth Congress will be the largest and most inspirational gathering of its kind for young people taking place anywhere in the world in 2005. It should be a great chance to discuss new ideas and make new friends in Scotland the best small country in the world."

Scotland's Deputy Minister for Education and Young People, Euan Robson, commented: "I look forward to hearing their views and helping Scotland welcome delegates and speakers from around the world. Scotland is more than just a place to visit. It is a place to live and work and we have a tradition of welcoming new people. We are a modern outward looking country with a strong commitment to young people and heritage so it is fitting that we should be chosen to host this prestigious event."

The overall theme for Scotland 2005 is 'Young people working for a sustainable world community' and the programme will reflect and aim to further the UN's Millennium Development Goals: sustainability, poverty eradication, education, equality, community and health.

The event provides a forum for individuals to come together to share expertise and skills, best practice and to improve links with young people in other countries as well as development agencies across the world.

Using the information they gather from the congress programme, coupled with their existing skills and experience, delegates will prepare and present a policy document to the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2005. This document will outline the opinions and views on how the world's youth can play an integral part in future international sustainability.

Delegates will describe to the young people of the world why they should be getting involved in volunteering on sustainable development projects, and will also prepare an Edinburgh Statement on how to encourage and assist Young People to engage with communities. It may include a guide on how to make sustainable development projects happen.

The 3rd World Youth Congress takes place in Scotland from 30 July to 8 August 2005 and is open to young people aged 18 to 25. The event is free to attend with all accommodation, meals and equipment supplied by the organisers. Delegates must, however, pay for their travel to Scotland. (A scholarship fund is available for delegates who have genuine trouble raising travel funds.)

Successful applicants will fall into one of the following categories:

    If you, or someone you know, would like to apply to be part of Scotland 2005 or would like more information about the event please visit

    United Nations Millennium Development Goals

    Peace Child International

    Scottish Youth Parliament

    Last updated 11 Dec 2012